Carrie Fisher's Brother Says Leia Would Have Been the 'Big Payoff' in The Rise of Skywalker

There is another... there always has been.
Image: Lucasfilm

With the sacrifice of Luke Skywalker, Rey seemingly stands alone as the last of the Jedi as we enter Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But, according to Todd Fisher, if not for his sister’s tragic passing, there were plans for there to be another.


Speaking to Yahoo recently, Fisher discussed how The Rise of Skywalker is ultimately using the unreleased material shot for The Force Awakens to give General Leia one final outing, in tribute to the dearly missed actress, who sadly passed away in late 2016. “They had eight minutes of footage,” Fisher said of his sister’s role in the movie. “They grabbed every frame and analyzed it... and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”

But it’s what Fisher had to say of his sister’s potential role in The Rise of Skywalker that is interesting—with Yahoo alleging Leia “was going to emerge as a full-fledged Jedi warrior, complete with her very own lightsaber. That’s according to no less an authority than Fisher’s real-life brother, Todd Fisher”

“She was going to be the big payoff in this final film and that was what the intent was prior to her exiting. She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak...” Fisher told Yahoo. “People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chop up some bad guys,’...Obi-Wan, when he was in his prime, was Carrie’s age.

This isn’t the first time that Todd Fisher has suggested details about what his sister’s role in the movies could have been in the wake of her death—it’s also far from the first time since Carrie Fisher’s passing that we’ve heard there were big plans for Leia’s arc in the ninth and final entry in the Skywalker saga. But it’s the first we’ve really heard of Leia stepping away from her role as a military leader of the Resistance and more openly embracing the power of the Force that we’ve long known she’s wielded—even before she called on it to save her life out in the vacuum of space in The Last Jedi.

The primal thrill of the idea of Leia wielding her own lightsaber is exciting to contemplate, especially compounded by the sad idea that it’s not happening because of Fisher’s untimely passing. But it’s important to remember as well that it’s not the weapon that makes someone a Jedi—a lesson she, her brother, Rey, and many more would know. Leia would never have become the last, or one of the last, Jedi. She already was one, like her father and brother before her, just without the title and all the baggage the establishment that is the Jedi Order brings with it.


We might not see Leia take up the arms of a Jedi Knight in The Rise of Skywalker. But the Force will be with her, nonetheless. Always has been, always will be.


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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!


Angrier Geek

Sorry, but this is exactly why I argued for recasting. You’re not hurting the memory of Carrie Fisher in any way by doing justice to the character she brought to life who wound up being the greatest hero in Star Wars because she. never. gave. up.

Anankin: broke and went evil

Luke: broke and ran away

Han: broke and ran away

Ben/Kylo: broke and went evil.

Only Leia Skywalker Organa stayed true to the path no matter what. Her entire home and everyone she knew and loved were wiped out in front of her eyes when she was 18 and she still told The Empire to get fucked. Darth Vader himself tortured her for information and she told him to get fucked. The new Republic basically kicked her out when they found out she was Vader’s daughter and she told them to get fucked and fought The First Order without them.

Recast Leia? To paraphrase Yoda, “If you honor what she fought for? Yes.” 

That being said, if they want to make an animated version or put out a comic with the original plans for Leia, you got my money.